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The Human Element in Container Shipping


Edited By Burkhard Lemper, Thomas Pawlik and Susanne Neumann

The shipping industry is run by people and for people. Thus, the main element in shipping is the «human element» – the mariners at all levels. Since the human element aboard vessels – being in and coping with a very special environment – is the crucial point of every transport chain, it is important to take a closer look at maritime human resource management issues which are scarcely tackled in scientific literature. This book deals with topics such as the criminalization of seafarers, piracy as part of shipping companies’ risk management, corporate social responsibility and human error in shipping.


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3 Demands on Ship Officers according to the STCW Convention and Maritime Crew Resource Management as a future challenge for shipping: Runa Jörgens


55 1 Introduction The history of shipping is as old as the history of trade. Sailing vessels were eventually replaced by steam ships; today, ships with a carrying capacity in excess of 14,000 TEU are sailing over the seven seas. Along with globalisation came changes in the maritime employment market. Today’s ship crews are more multicultural and multinational than ever.1 The demands on ship officers have changed accordingly. When a company seeks to hire a master for their vessels today, the job description will usually include the following information: The master of the vessel is the top authority onboard the ship with full control of all activities. His responsibilities include planning, organising and co-ordinating them as well as ensuring safety, security and environmental protection onboard the respective vessel. Apart from his or her operational tasks, a master is a personal representative of his or her shipping company. The job description is followed by specific requirements regarding certificates as well as social competencies the applicant should have. Apart from the usual certificates and licences specified by the STCW Convention2 as amended, masters are expected to have good command of the English language, and increasingly, interpersonal skills. 1 Progoulaki, Maritime Human Resource Management: Past Conditions and Future Challenges, p. 2. 2 International Convention of Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). 3 Demands on Ship Officers according to the STCW Convention and Maritime Crew Resource Management as a future challenge for shipping Runa...

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